This is really exciting time these days. Most of .NET tooling vendors are about to provide a major upgrade of their products within the next weeks. And Reflector is part of the lot! A brand new version, Reflector v6, is about to be go live RTM on Monday 15th of February 2010. This will be the first time the company Red-Gate will update the product since it has been acquired from its original creator, Lutz Roeder, in August 2008.
There are 90% of chances you are using Reflector daily so don’t be afraid: current Reflector features will continue to be provided in a free version of the tool. The Red-Gate strategy is to append new innovative features to the tool, and only these features will require a professional purchased version. The flagships features of Reflector v6 is the ability to debug source code decompiled from IL code, in the Visual Studio debugger. This is certainly a killer one: we all need at a point to have a better understanding of what’s happening at runtime in Framework used by our code.
Having used Reflector v6 beta, I can say that plenty of cool featurettes have been also been added, including a bridge between Reflector and Visual Studio (ok this one is already provided more or less by several tools, including TestDriven.NET and NDepend)
Another cool thing is that the upcoming NDepend v3 is working hand-in-hand with Reflector v6 (as a Reflector addin). And as NDepend v3 is also a Visual Studio 2010 / 2008 /2005 addin, all NDepend features constitute more glue between Reflector v6 and Visual Studio, including:
- from Reflector to Visual Studio
- Generating dependency graph and dependency matrix
- Generating CQL queries
- Opening Source files definition
- from Visual Studio to Reflecor
- Opening a code element (assembly, namespace, type, method, field) in the Reflector class browser
- Decompiling a code element in a source file in any language supported by Reflector (IL, C#, VB.NET, MC++I, Oxygen, Delphi)
- Decompiling an older and a newer version of a code element in 2 text files, and comparing the 2 text files with your preferred diff tool.